Thrash Talk: MVP goes to the training staff

I had planned on making this a short article. For those of you that know me, you know that wasn’t very likely. But I will at least keep the opening short for once. Let’s begin, shall we?


The only real news is that Atlanta is finally getting a bit healthy. Aubin, Vigier and Heatley all returned to the lineup against the Blues. Savard, Exelby and possibly Tamer aren’t far behind at all. Of course, within that lies the biggest news; the return of Dany Heatley.

But this particular news was brought up earlier and the discussion turned in another direction, not surprisingly. All I want here is to talk about how his return will impact the team. But I’m thinking it’s inevitable that the discussion will turn again and even though I very much stick by my views in the previous thread, I’m not up for going through another pointless debate. So all I will say is that I’m happy he is playing again, and we’ll leave it at that.


Garnet Exelby: hip pointer, likely to return by the weekend

Marc Savard: sprained MCL, may be back by this weekend also

Andy Sutton: broken foot, not expected until after the break

Chris Tamer: sore back, but practicing with the team (not that I or anyone cares much)

Prospect Update

Jim Slater: 31 pts in 26 games, as well as a +19, for Mich St (CCHA)

Braydon Coburn: 23 pts in 35 games for Portland (WHL)

Brad Schell: 66 pts in 51 games for Spokane (WHL)

Karl Stewart: 25 points and a +17 halfway through his first pro season with the Chicago Wolves

Kari Lehtonen: with a GAA of 2.36 and a save percentage nearing 93%, he has earned the spot as starting goaltender for PlanetUSA in the AHL All-Star Game

Trade Rumors

The winds are starting to swirl. Contrary to popular belief, more than four or five teams are in the market for acquiring players. And as always happens, some of these “lesser” teams pull a fast one, grabbing players that many fans thought were destined for certain other teams

(who I shan’t name, but you know). I’m not saying that Atlanta will but they are certainly in the mix, at least for now.

So who then are these mysterious players that Atlanta is looking for? Haven’t a clue. This is because we have a GM who wisely keeps his mouth shut about any possible deals. And we he does comment on it, he is vague and often cryptic, leaving the door open for many possibilities. Here is some of his more recent vagueness.

1) During the Blues game, he said that he would like to get a top three Dman. Someone that could eat up 20 minutes a night, and of course be very responsible defensively.

2) On a local rock station’s morning show, he said that he would be willing to trade the Thrashers first round pick if he could get a forward in his mid to late 20s that would be a mainstay for many years to come. He would not trade that first rounder for someone in their early 30s who would likely be a rental player. In DW’s usual fashion, he never said the team wasn’t looking for such a player, just that he wouldn’t consider trading that first rounder for him.

3) Waddell also stated that he would like to acquire a defensive centerman, to help with faceoffs. But then again, what team doesn’t want that?

Which leads us again to actual names of the players Waddell is looking for and who he is willing to trade to get them. When Atlanta gets healthy, they will have 9 Dmen on the roster and only one they can send to the minors without clearing waivers (that’s Exelby, and he is going nowhere). So that leaves Tamer, Tremblay and possibly Tjarnqvist as trade targets. For the forwards, Stefan has always been rumored to go elsewhere but he is playing well enough so that option might be out the window. The only other forwards available are grinders for the most part, and any trade that includes one of them is likely to be in a package deal. As I mentioned before, a high pick is a tradable asset if the player coming back is of a suitably high caliber.

As you might have noticed, I dodged the issue of speculating who might be coming this way. That’s because I honestly don’t a have a good idea of who it might be, and I do not feel like making an ass of myself by throwing out random names. I will, as always, leave that up to the rest of you.


Due to some unforeseen generosity, I was able to attend the game against St. Louis on Wednesday (more on that in a moment). That is the most alive that I have ever seen that arena, of course due to something mentioned earlier in this article. I’ve never had the pleasure or privilege of attending an NHL playoff game, which I have to assume is akin to bedlam. If the atmosphere of a playoff game equals or exceeds what I witnessed on Wednesday, then I really cannot wait for this team to finally get there. But I will, as ever, remain patient.

The tickets I received were in the swanky part of Philips Arena. Suffice it to say, I had never seen that side of the arena before. I must say that I was very impressed by the luxury and comfort provided there. I can only imagine that the luxury boxes above step-up that level of comfort. Of course I did not partake in any of those comforts, as that would have required me taking out a loan to pay for it. Now I can see how these new arenas make so much money. But what impressed me the most wasn’t the much easier access from the outside, the two excellent bars, the set-up of real tables for dining or drinking, the random celebrities that wandered about. I was more impressed by the fact that the entire area was carpeted, call me a simple man.

That’s all, folks!

15 Responses to Thrash Talk: MVP goes to the training staff

  1. Lint07 says:

    great article again, CW.

    I really wish to see the Thrashers in the playoffs this year as they are one of the most exciting teams to watch.

    I hope they do acquire 1 or 2 solid players before the deadline. A solid defensive d-men is a must for you guys. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if they acquire that kind of player, they could very well be the cinderella team of the East this year with the return of Heatley, the enthusiasm of all the young players in the team and the coaching of Bob Hartley…

    Could Dmitri Yushkevich be a possibility? he’d come relatively cheap and Waddell wouldn’t have to give up half of the team’s core in this year’s ”deadline-dmen-frenzy” where every d-men available will cost twice as much as what they’d normally since so many teams are looking for defensive help.

    What do you think about that CW?

  2. cwthrash says:

    If they think he’s in good enough shape, sure. I’d like that at least.

    The team needs to get healthy first of all. If that happens, at least one of those nine Dmen would have to go (and I would be very much opposed to putting Grand-Pierre at forward again, he’s been much better on the backline). But there is room and time to manuever.

    Personally, I know who I’d like to see come here. But I don’t know if the Ducks want to keep him or not. I’m not a name-dropper but I know you can guess who that is.

  3. OilersBabe says:

    Yo Mikster,

    You stupid fucking cocksucker!

    Have you recently taken a slapshot to the head? You are probably one of the dumbest fucking wops I have ever come across.

    I can see you right now in your Adidas tracksuit, grabbing your balls and saying “….Don’t worry about it, forget about it…..Ma, ma, get me something to eat.” You and the rest of the towtruck drivers thinking your on the bench with your piece of shit team. I’ll put the Canadian women’s national team up against the Rangers any day.

    The pond hockey team in Mystery Alaska almost beat the rangers for fuck sakes…….

    Your bitching and crying like you just broke your hymen really provides us all with a glorious laugh at your stupid cocksucking expense.

    Can you bitch about anything else????

    It was the refs fault for not calling anything……

    It was Doig’s fault for scheming in his room the night before with the Smoking man from the X-Files

    It was Sather’s fault for not ensuring his player didn’t have sex the night before the game just like the Italian soccer team at the World Cup where they lose every time anyways…..

    Just like a fucking wop(Peroni) to bitch, complain, take dives, cry, fuck sheep, beat their wives….etc.

    “all we can do is clutch, grab, hook, and hold” Washington Capitals????? Are you fucked? Get the cum out of your eyes, clutch and grab in the rangers handbook is called BACKCHECKING.

    “I have finally come to a decision with my mind. The New York Rangers will have to rebuild. “??? How many 200+ posts does it take for you to get that message Einstein? When you, GretNYR99 and Bretzky get together to check each other’s prostate, you might want to consider either shutting the fuck up, moving to Pakistan where you canbitch and whine about Cricket, or take a bath with a TV.

    PS, you CUNT, if you want Lindros to get better alot faster, maybe you should go by the hospital and blow him.

    Best Regards,

    Jason Doig

  4. Lint07 says:

    yeah, and I don’t think they plan on moving him anytime soon. 😉

  5. Kashin says:

    I think they should bring Heatly along a little slower. I think it is crazy in the first game from being back from an acl injury to play 23 minutes. Ease him back over a course of 3-5 games. He could burn himself by the end of the year.

  6. defenestrate says:

    As I have told you privately, I have a lot of respect for the Thrashers after our last game against them. And I always loved Coach Hartley.

    It would be a great thing for this team to make the playoffs, especially in the pre-CBA year. Any inroads that can be made to quell the (grossly distorted) clamors about the dearth of “real” hockey in the southern US would be greatly welcome.

    You want a defensemen? Trade you Skoula for Kovalchuk, straight up. Ha!

  7. devfanman4 says:

    He definitely wasn’t up to his old form in that game. I agree. They need to slowly work him back in. There’s a huge difference between practice and an actual game. Look at opening night and how many players look rusty even though they’ve been practicing and conditioning for months.

  8. cwthrash says:

    I’ve was thinking more of Kovalchuk for Morris, Hejduk and Granato’s first born (or his sister if you prefer).

    Unfortunately time and some consistency are the only things that will put a dent in the perception of some about southern teams, even then it might not work. Three different teams currently in the SE division have made the Stanley Cup Finals in the past decade, but those are normally considered one-time wonders. Even when multiple southern teams do something this good, some fans try and rationalize it away. We can’t win.

    But it’s not like I’m gonna stop trying to spread the word. I’m one stubborn SOB.

  9. RangerSteve says:

    Good job on refering to a shitty TV Series from the Mid-90s and a half ass movie. You sad pathedic fool, it’s obvious one thing came out of your post…YOU LOVE THE COCK! Now go back downstairs to your parents’ basement you sad pathetic 30 year old transvestite, and beat off to re-runs of Baywatch.

    Cheers Tool boy!

  10. Primis says:

    You want a defensemen? Trade you Skoula for Kovalchuk, straight up. Ha!

    Mmmmmm, EHM trades.

    What’s sad is that while cwthrash was mentioning getting a 20-something forward the first thing that popped to mind was “Hey, they could always get Lecavalier or one of the Sedin twins! They’re ALWAYS available in EHM.”

    — Primis.

  11. Primis says:

    Chris Tamer: sore back, but practicing with the team (not that I or anyone cares much)

    Oh good so it’s not just me then…

    Jim Slater: 31 pts in 26 games, as well as a +19, for Mich St (CCHA)

    Jim’s probably not ever going to be a huge impact player in the NHL but I can see him being good for Atlanta in particular. He’s been the glue holding together an erratic Spartan team this season (they need to fire Rick Comley as coach, he’s not getting it done). They’re fairly young this season (almost *all* freshmen and sophs) and Slater’s been consistent and a leader on the team. That alone bodes well. He’s probably going to need a while in minors though (2 or 3 seasons) before he’d be ready for NHL play.

    Kari Lehtonen: with a GAA of 2.36 and a save percentage nearing 93%, he has earned the spot as starting goaltender for PlanetUSA in the AHL All-Star Game

    Is there a more-retarded All-Star format in the universe than the AHL’s stupid Canada vs PlanetUSA format? Didn’t think so…

    As you might have noticed, I dodged the issue of speculating who might be coming this way. That’s because I honestly don’t a have a good idea of who it might be, and I do not feel like making an ass of myself by throwing out random names. I will, as always, leave that up to the rest of you.

    SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: No real cred to this idea *whatsoever* in terms of sources but it makes a WHOLE lot of sense to me so here goes.

    I’ve been wondering just about all season if Atlanta and Pittsburgh couldn’t (and shouldn’t) help each other.

    There are some decent young players that are DYING in Pittsburgh if for no other reason than Pens fans seem bent on killing them when they’re ina no-win situation. They might not be impact-type players in Atlanta but I could see them helping the team considerably if they were the right young guys, and one of them might develop more in ATL when they wouldn’t in PIT. People in Pittsburgh seem to do nothing but whine and complain about guys like Kraft and Orpik, for example. These are guys that maybe wouldn’t have such a burden in ATL as they do in PIT, and could help.

    Also, PIT complains a lot about it being hard to get good young players. Well, the best way to do that is to somehow get an extra 1st-rounder…

    If Atlanta was really serious about trading away their 1st-rounder if they got something of worth back, and Pittsburgh is truly serious about wanting to rebuild for the future and that they’re not happy with some of these younger players… it only would make sense to package a couple of the much-maligned younger Pens and swap them for ATL’s 1st Rounder and maybe someone else and/or some lower picks. From what I’ve seen of the Pens salaries too if done right it could also slightly alleviate some of the Pens financial difficulties for the time being as well.

    But anyways, a package like that. You get the idea.

    Again this is 100% my own idea, I haven’t heard or seen anything anywhere to indicate anything so I’m just spouting what makes sense to me. But it, well… makes sense.

    Something to really think about.

    — Primis

  12. cwthrash says:

    It is Slater’s work ethic and leadership qualities that I personally like a lot. He has skills but it’s so hard to tell how those will translate to the NHL. If they do, great. But more than likely he would be a 3rd line type center for Atlanta, which isn’t a bad thing. If he keeps to the attitude he has now, he will have a future in the NHL, whenever that may be.

    Very interesting idea about the Pens. I don’t know enough about how those young Pens are perceived by fans and/or management to say it could or couldn’t work. But if your take is right, it could be worth looking into at least if Atlanta falls out of the playoff race this year.

    Kudos for the creativity.

  13. Doppelganger says:

    There are a couple of things that really bother me about the Thrashers lately. First, Hartley seriously shortens his bench. I too was at the game against St. Louis and I saw Majesky and Kloucek out there for about 8 shifts combined. Tremblay, Tjarnqvist, Kaberle, and Grand-Pierre played way too much. Kaberle is capable of playing a lot but the other three arent. Also, Francis Lessard played about a minute and a half. He doesnt fight, he doesnt “create energy,” he doesnt score, and he doesnt play. Essentially, the Thrashers are playing three men down the whole game. What is the point of having Lessard on the team if he is just going to sit there. Why not recall someone like Karl Stewart, who nearly made the team out of training camp and played well in an earlier call up? Same thing with the d-men, get someone who you are confindent in playing a lot or the four that are playing are going to wear down.

    Secondly, Marc Savard has had an injury problem his whole career. He is so small and yet he goes into the corner and plays with so much reckless abandon that he is always injured. Then when he is injured, he comes back way too fast and gets injured again. First, he tore the ligaments in his ankle, came back six weeks early and played well before getting a concussion. He missed just 3 games with a concussion, before coming only to sprain his knee. Now he is coming back just two weeks later, and I only worry how long before he is hurt again. They should pick somebody up, and give him time to heal properly.

    Finally, it is increasingly annoying how the entire team goes out of there way to get the puck to Kovalchuk or, in the instance of the St. Louis game, Heatley. Kovalchuk passed up a point blank shot in front of the net to get it over to Heatley only to have him shoot it high. In a game against Carolina a couple weeks ago, Kovy got two in the first period and the team spent the rest of the game trying to get him the hat trick. They ended up losing 4-3 because the Canes covered him with 3 guys. SHOOT THE PUCK KABERLE!

  14. MurphyTheWonderDog says:


  15. cwthrash says:

    I think the deal with the Kloucek-Majesky combo was health. I’m pretty sure that Ivan has been playing hurt for a while now. With all the injuries the team had, he was forced into action and any possible defensive call-ups couldn’t be that effective (not slamming to Wolves, but I don’t think there is anyone ready for the type of game we need). And Kloucek, it could be one of his not so rare injuries or Hartley just isn’t comfortable with him. For reference, see Mike Weaver.

    My thinking is those injuries to Savard were related to his style of play, but mostly they were bad luck. Each of the three injuries had nothing to do with the other one. Maybe it’s me but I’m all for having a creative offensive center who doesn’t mind getting dirty, no matter his size. He’s got heart, that is never a bad thing.

    On the third point, I agree. But what can you do? For a relatively young team, that mentality is gonna be there for a while. Of course it doesn’t help when your best offensive Dman would rather pass than shoot. Hopefully they will make the adjustments in time and get back into the playoff race.

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